As a patient, being airlifted from a traumatic accident or being transported to a larger healthcare facility can be scary, but not having any available packed red blood cells on the medical aircraft can be fatal.
Thanks to the partnership between Rush Health Systems and PHI Air Medical Mississippi, community members who need emergency air ambulance transport will have the blood they need. PHI Air Medical Mississippi will carry blood on its missions to support improved outcomes for patients involved in traumatic injuries or other conditions that require transfusions.
“The best chance to improve outcomes for airlifted patients is having a supply of blood available for immediate transfusion which can be administered by the onboard medical personnel,” said Patrick Kirkland, MD, Medical Director for Rush Emergency Department and PHI. “We’re proud to partner with PHI Air Medical to help increase the lives that can be saved by having the proper resources for those needing to be airlifted,” added Larkin Kennedy, President and CEO of Rush Health Systems.
Of the more than 190,000 patients who die of trauma in the U.S. each year, 45% are due to massive hemorrhage. Sadly, 70% die in the first six hours following their injury. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons concluded that pre-trauma center transfusion increased the probability of 24-hour survival and decreased risk of shock in severely injured air medical trauma patients.
“I am excited about the opportunities that carrying blood products affords to our medical crews and patients in Mississippi and Alabama,” said Trae Bane, Clinical Manager, PHI Air Medical. “Our ability to offer blood products to those patients with an immediate need augments the high level of care we provide in the communities we serve. The shared focus of the mission, vision and values with our partner, Rush, has enhanced our ability to provide the best possible care to our patients in Mississippi.”
To salute this exciting expansion of services, Rush and PHI Air Medical will hold a blood drive on Thursday, November 19 from 12:30 – 6:00 p.m. at Knights of Columbus Main Hall on Hwy 19 North. Appointments can be made online at Vitalant.org (sponsor code: KOCMDN) or by contacting Lisa Hennington at 601.703.9691.